McKenzie Nygren has been named interim chair of the agriculture department at Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College (NEO). Nygren teaches agricultural economics and business courses, leads the Missouri State University Agriculture Pathways Partnership and sponsors the Agriculture Ambassadors, the College’s prestigious leadership program. Her appointment was effective Sept. 14. It is commonplace to appoint an interim chair person when a vacancy occurs. The interim position may take anywhere from six months to one year until the position has been appointed. “As interim, I am confident in McKenzie’s ability to lead the college’s agriculture department and maintain her commitment to her colleagues, the Agriculture Ambassador program and her students in the classroom,” said NEO Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Bethene Fahnestock.
Nygren is an NEO alumna who earned her associate’s degree in agriculture in 2008. In 2010, she graduated from Oklahoma State University with a bachelor’s degree in agribusiness. Nygren is now in the final stages of her master’s degree in agriculture education from Iowa State University. Her expected completion date is May 2016. Under her direction and through a cooperative agreement with Missouri State University, the NEO Pathways partnership enables students to achieve a bachelor’s degree in general agriculture while remaining on campus in Miami. There are currently 20 students in the program – an increase of more than 50 percent since 2013. “I am humbled and excited to have the opportunity to serve the NEO agriculture department in the role of department chair,” Nygren said. “I hope to build upon the tradition of excellence that continues to make NEO agriculture both successful and competitive among junior college agriculture departments across the nation.”
Nygren is active on several NEO and community committees including: NEO curriculum/articulation, NEO assessment and Rodeo Miami. Additionally, she also serves as superintendent for the National FFA Horse Evaluation Career Development Event.